Posts Tagged ‘strategy’

Adjusting Your Holdem Strategy for Omaha

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

More and more Texas Holdem players are giving Omaha a try. However, if you are thinking of switching to Omaha don’t be fooled by the similarities in the two games – the strategy for Omaha is actually quite different than the strategy for Texas Holdem. Read on to learn more.

For starters, In Texas Holdem it is important to make big bets before the flop when you have good cards, like pocket aces or kings. The purpose of betting big pre-flop is to knock out other players so that you can narrow the table down to only one or two others. However, in Omaha big pairs don’t mean much if you don’t have the other cards to back them up. For this reason, many Holdem players find that they hurt themselves by making big bets too early, only to find that their pocket aces or kings aren’t such great hands. Play more cautiously in Omaha near the beginning of the game and only start betting big once more cards are dealt and you see where you stand.

In Omaha you will also have to adjust the way that you play after the flop. You need to find the right combination of passive and aggressive play. For instance, too many players play too passively when they’ve got a straight after the flop because they think another player may get a flush. If you play this way you’ll never win. Betting a little bigger may knock other players out of the hand before they have the opportunity to get a flush, securing your spot as the winner.

Free Poker vs. Real Money Poker: Aligning Your Strategy

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Playing online poker for free and playing real money poker games can be totally different experiences. After all, when you have your own money on the line the entire dynamic of the game changes.

When I play free poker I am much more relaxed. After all, in free poker games I usually have a much larger bankroll and I’m not stressed about losing money so I’m willing to play much more aggressively. However, as soon as I start playing poker with my own money, my whole attitude changes. I am much less likely to call or raise than in a free game, where I could easily go all-in and not care at all if I lose. After all, when you play for free all you have to do is refresh the page and your bankroll will refresh as well!

The reason that I bring this up is that many poker players make the mistake of taking too many liberties when they play free online poker games for practice. After all, if you play super aggressively in a free game it won’t help you improve your real money game if you like to play tight when you are playing on your own bankroll. Therefore, if you really want to improve your skills then you should play every free game as if you were playing with your real money.

When you are ready to start playing real money games it is important to choose a poker game with limits that meet your personal bankroll to avoid big losses.

Poker Freeroll Tournament Strategy

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Poker freerolls are an exciting way to win great prizes and cash without risking a dime of your own money. An online freeroll tournament is an online poker tournament in which the entry fee has been waived, so players compete against one another risk-free for great prizes!

Because of the fact that freerolls are totally free poker tournaments most players will take a lot more risks. It is not uncommon for players to go all-in very early on in the tournament, betting on luck and hoping to ensure their spot in the next round. After all, going all-in and losing isn’t a big deal in a freeroll, as you haven’t actually invested any of your money to enter the tournament. Being very aggressive at the beginning of a freeroll is usually a good strategy. After all, if your aggressive playing is effective it can help you increase your chips and make your way to the top. If you are eliminated you don’t lose anything and there will always be another freeroll!

Some players choose to take the opposite approach when it comes to their freeroll poker strategy. These players play super tight-playing only good hands and slowly building their bankroll. This is the “slow and steady wins the race” strategy and can be effective. However, lucky aggressive players can easily bound ahead of the super tight freeroll players.

If you are planning to play in your first freeroll, don’t sweat the strategy. Try out one of these techniques and see how it works for you. Remember that you have nothing to lose, so you can build the freeroll strategy that’s right for you as you play in different freeroll tournaments.

Rebuy Poker Tournament Strategy

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

A good friend of mine is playing in his first rebuy poker tournament next weekend and he came to me for strategy advice, so I thought I’d write a post on the subject. There are a number of different ways to strategize in rebuy tournaments and the right one for you depends upon how much money you are willing to spend.

One of the most popular strategies in rebuy tournaments is the super loose strategy. Players who play super loose play very aggressively and stay in on nearly 100% of their hands, hoping that they will get a good hand or luck out on a bluff. The reason these players play super loose is in an effort to build their bankroll to it’s maximum potential during the rebuy period. After all, if they wind up losing they can always buy back in. This strategy is great if you have a large bankroll and can afford to buy back in numerous times. However, if you can’t afford to keep reburying then you should go with a tighter strategy.

It is often a much better strategy to play only slightly loose. Play more hands than you might otherwise, but don’t play hands that you know you have no chance of winning with. This strategy is best for players who can only afford to rebuy a few times.

Finally, some players choose to ignore the rebuy completely and stick to their regular poker tournament strategy. These players understand that the prize can grow to greater proportions in rebuy tournaments when other players rebuy but choose not to do so themselves.

Recognizing Tight and Loose Play in Poker

Monday, January 4th, 2010

In the world of poker there are all types of players who turn to all different sorts of strategies in their poker playing. Most of these players fall into two categories – loose players and tight players. Figuring out if you are playing against a loose player or a tight player can help you build your own strategy and play to win.

The term “tight player” is used to describe a poker player that plays very few poker hands. These players are “tight” with their bankroll, only staying in the game when they have a very good hand. When you play against a tight player you can be pretty sure that if they stay in the game they have a good hand. However, tight players also have the advantage of being able to throw in a good bluff every now and then, getting the other players to fold and winning with a poker hand that is only so-so.

Loose players, on the other hand, are players that play lots of hands. With these players you can never be sure how good their hand truly is. Strategizing against a loose player is tougher, since you can never know if they have a strong hand or not. However, playing loose holds a lot more risk when it comes to your bankroll. I tend to stick to tight play in my poker games and I think that in the long run you win a lot more than you lose when you play tight.

Multi-Tabling in Online Poker

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Something that a lot of online poker players haven’t considered is the practice of multi-tabling. When you play poker online one of the biggest advantages is that you can play at multiple tables at the same time. While this requires a firm control of poker rules and strategy, multi-tabling is a great way to increase your poker winnings.

Take this into consideration: If you normally make $15 an hour playing at a single table then you can double this by playing at two tables at once or even triple it by playing at three tables or even more! However, it is important to take into consideration that when you play at multiple tables your concentration is not as strong so you may make slightly less than usual on each table. For this reason, you have to practice and keep records when multi-tabling to find the perfect balance for yourself.

How do you find the perfect balance when it comes to multi-tabling? Keep track of how much you make per hour at a single table. Let’s say it’s $15. Add a second table and keep track of how much you make per hour and per table. If you make $12 per hour at each table that’s $24 per hour, which is a lot better than $15. However, if you add a third table and you drop to $7 per table per hour then you are only making $21 so you should stick to two tables.

Find your balance and multi-tabling can be very profitable.

How Calling Can Hurt Your Poker Strategy

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Calling is often the safe bet in a game of poker. Calling is a good way to keep the stakes low and keep the pot at a smaller size when you don’t have the nuts or aren’t so sure about your hand. However, if you consistently fall back on calling you are only hurting yourself in the long run.

This may come as a surprise to many poker players. However, there is a very good reason why calling can hurt your poker strategy. When you consistently call you don’t have the opportunity to read the other players’ betting patterns to discover things that you could use against them. For instance, many players will stay in when you call with any hand. However, there are players who will fold when you bet or raise if they are even the slightest bit insecure about their hand. If you never call or raise then you may never find this out, losing you more hands than necessary.

Some players who are used to slower, less aggressive poker play may feel uncomfortable with betting and raising. The good news is that it gets easier with practice – trust me. Try it out starting with free practice games online or with low limit cash games, small buy-in tournaments and freerolls. Before you know it you’ll be betting and raising like a pro and noticing patterns to help you win more when you play poker, online and off.

Do Online Poker Tells Exist?

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

When it comes to live poker one of the best strategies is reading tells. When you and your opponent are face to face there is a lot you have to go on-nervous ticks, facial gestures, tone of voice and that sort of thing. However, how about when you play poker online? Do online poker tells exist? The answer is a resounding “yes!” One of the biggest tells in online poker is the speed of play. Generally players that play very quickly, making the decision to raise or go all in within seconds, is holding a weak hand. Delayed action is often a sign of a strong hand, as the player is taking time to plan out their strategy and decide how to play their hand. However, sometimes delayed action can simply be chocked up to a slow Internet connection. If you notice that a player raises within a split second of the player before then you can deduce that they have checked the “raise any” box. If a player has chosen to raise any then this probably means that they have a great hand so unless your hand is also great it is a good idea to fold.

You should also pay attention to how often your opponents’ fold and how often they raise. Using this information you can determine whether or not a player plays weak hands, only raises on very strong hands or bets sporadically. This information can help you with your own strategy.

Learn to read these online poker tells and you can quickly improve your online poker winnings.

Pros and Cons of Slow Playing

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

In poker, slow playing can be a very effective strategy. However, it can also be the downfall for many players. For this reason, I thought I’d write a little bit about the pros and cons of this poker strategy.

For those of you who don’t know what slow playing is, it is a strategy in which players play weakly when they have a good hand in order to make the other players think they have only a so-so or weak hand. It is important to note that slow playing should not be used on a regular basis or the other players will catch on. It is best when used following a bout of aggressive playing.

In many situations, slow playing can be a very effective strategy. By simply calling the bets of other players, rather than raising, you can keep players with weak hands in the game longer, getting more action in the pot. This is obviously a good thing.

However, slow playing does have its cons. By keeping weaker players in the game you run the risk of getting burned. An opposing player’s weak hand could turn strong in the Turn or River. If you had raised instead of called in an earlier round this player probably would have folded, but because of your slow playing this player has you beat.

As you can see, slow playing has its pros and cons. However, I find that when used in small doses it can have great results.

Poker Satellite Tournaments: Shoot for the Stars

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Satellite tournaments have a lot of appeal among poker players, online and off. A satellite is a poker tournament that allows players to buy in for as little as a few dollars and compete to win a seat in a huge online or land-based tourney with a much more expensive buy-in. Of course, when huge tournaments like the WSOP or World Poker Tour are on the line there can be a massive number of players competing. Therefore, it’s important to bring your top-notch strategy to the table if you want to win.

There are a couple of types of satellite tournaments. The first is the “winner takes all” style tournament, in which only the big winner at the end earns a seat in whichever tournament is up for grabs. Since you want to be the final player it’s important to play aggressively in this style of tournament. Raise and double up frequently to make it to the final table and emerge the champion.

I prefer to play in satellites that offer multiple prize packages. These offer more winners seats in giant tournaments. In these types of tournaments you can afford to play a little safer for starters, while you advance. However, when it comes down to the end you’ll have to step it up and start playing aggressively.

While it can be tough to win satellite tournaments, the prize is totally worth the fight. Come in ready with your best strategy and prepare to shoot for the stars.